ComScore: Google's Search Volume Accelerates In September, But Market Share Dips

Update: ComScore has notified me that it has discovered an error in its September figures and will be releasing amended numbers shortly. It appears that the impact of the change will be marginally positive for Google. We’ll update as soon as we get the recalculated figures.

Update 2: Corrected figures are below, as are the originally reported figures for comparison.  The mistake was in Ask’s numbers. Its market share declined half a percentage point to 4.3 percent instead of increasing to 5.4 percent.

Ahead of Thursday’s earnings announcement from Google, comScore just released its search market share figures for September. Google’s overall share of search queries in the U.S. dipped from 63% in August to 62.9% 62.2%. Yahoo and Ask (whose search is powered by Google) saw the biggest gains.

Corrected: U.S. Search Market Share (September, 2008)

Google 62.9% (down 0.1% from August)
Yahoo 20.2% (up 0.6%)
AOL 4.1% (down 0.2%)
Microsoft 8.5% (up 0.2%)
Ask 4.3% (down 0.5%)

Original: U.S. Search Market Share (September, 2008)

Google 62.2% (down 0.8% from August)
Yahoo 20.0% (up 0.4%)
AOL 4.0% (down 0.3%)
Microsoft 8.4% (up 0.1%)
Ask 5.4% (up 0.6%)

On the bright side for Google, both its annual and quarterly search query volume growth rates are accelerating. Year-over-year, Google’s query growth was 38.6 percent, up from around 33 percent each of the past three months. (On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the growth rate was 35 percent). Wall Street will likely focus on this acceleration as a slight positive for the stock.

Google as helped by overall search queries growing 26.9 24.7 percent across all search engines. Only Ask’s search volume grew faster, at 45.5 percent year-over-year. Ask’s growth slowed down to 8.2 percent, from 23.5 percent in August.  But that still helps Google, since Ask is a partner. AOL, another partner, saw 18.9 11.4 percent growth in search queries. Yahoo saw only 7.1 percent growth, and Microsoft saw a measly 3.0 1.3 percent growth (but at least its growth rate did not decline as it had each of the previous three months).

Corrected: U.S. Y/Y Search Query Growth Rates (September, 2008)

Total 24.7% (versus 19.6% in August))
Google 38.6% (versus 33.4%)
Yahoo 7.1% (versus 0.4%)
AOL 11.4% (versus 7.0%)
Microsoft 1.3% (versus -13.2%)
Ask 8.2% (versus 23.5%)

Original: U.S. Y/Y Search Query Growth Rates (September, 2008)

Total 26.9% (versus 19.6% in August))
Google 38.6% (versus 33.4%)
Yahoo 7.1% (versus 0.4%)
AOL 18.9% (versus 14.3%)
Microsoft 3.0% (versus -11.6%)
Ask 45.5% (versus 29.8%)